Luus, Lee to play 100th ODI in World Cup semi-final: 'It's an honour'

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South African all-rounder Sune Luus (Getty Images)
South African all-rounder Sune Luus (Getty Images)
Phil Walter-ICC/Getty Images
  • Proteas skipper Sune Luus and star batter Lizelle Lee will earn their 100th ODI in Thursday's Women's World Cup semi-final.
  • The Proteas face defending champions England at Hagley Oval in Christchurch as South Africa looks to make history.
  • Luus says it's an honour to represent her country and, more so captaining in her first semi-final.

Proteas skipper Sune Luus and opening batter Lizelle Lee will earn their 100th One-Day International (ODI) cap when South Africa takes on England in Thursday's Women's Cricket World Cup semi-final.

Nothing gets bigger for South Africa than Thursday's clash against defending champions England at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

It's a repeat of the 2017 World Cup semi-final in Bristol, when England defeated South Africa narrowly by two wickets (with two balls remaining).

For Luus and Lee, who both played in that match, it's the perfect opportunity turn the tables and take the Proteas women to new heights.

On Thursday, the semi-final will be doubly special for Luus and Lee as they become the sixth and seventh South African women to reach the centurion milestone.

"Yeah, no, it's a big milestone. I completely forgot. It might be my 100th game tomorrow, actually," Luus told reporters on Wednesday.

"But it's an honour to play for your country. Even if you just play five matches or 100 matches. It's still every time you walk up, you walk on the field and sing the anthem.

"It's still a special moment and I don't think tomorrow will be any different."

Luus took over the captaincy armband after regular skipper Dane van Niekerk was ruled out of much of 2021 and this year due to injury.

Captaincy has agreed with Luus and her skills and abilities have seen her thrive, mainly with the bat and some spin.

Apart from opener Laura Wolvaardt's stunning form at the World Cup, Luus is South Africa's next best batter as she has scored 249 runs in her seven games thus far.

Luus has only taken one wicket in the few overs she has bowled but has a heavy load with captaining a South African side during a World Cup semi-final.

"That's obviously a big honour. Something I never really thought of doing. Especially so soon in my career," said Luus on leading her side.

"I think probably there are going to be a couple of tears at the beginning of the game. It's obviously a massive opportunity to make history in South Africa and to change a lot of lives back home as well. And for us as players.

"So obviously, very excited for tomorrow with some butterflies as well, but that's something we'll manage when the time comes."

Meanwhile, Lee will also reach the significant milestone and will look to come into some form.

Lee, who had her first taste of competitive cricket this year at the World Cup, has struggled to regain last year's blistering form but continues her vital role as opening batter alongside Wolvaardt.

"She's extremely excited. But also, don't think she's going to put any pressure on herself being 100th game as well," said Luus.

"I just hope she remembers that 100 number in the back of her mind and turns that into runs."

Play starts at 03:00 SA time on Thursday.

The winner will play Australia in the Women's World Cup semi-final on Sunday in Christchurch.

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